CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A convicted construction scammer has plead guilty after finding new victims all across Central Virginia. Thomas Ray Lee Jr. is charged in six different counties for taking thousands of dollars from numerous families and running.
He was wanted by police for weeks and was ultimately arrested within just days after our 8News story aired back in June. “This guy makes a living off of scamming people,” Alycia Reid, in Chesterfield, said at the time.
“My hope’s that the judicial system will come through for us that have suffered these losses and keep him behind bars,” Pam Wiggins, a victim in Dinwiddie, told 8News shortly after the man was arrested.
Victims and police said he poses as a licensed contractor, promises work, takes the money upfront for it and runs, sometimes after tearing apart people’s property. Thomas Ray Lee Jr. has already been handed prison time twice for it following convictions in 2017 and 2020.
Since getting arrested at a Henrico motel, court records show he never got bond. He’s now charged with construction fraud related felonies in six different counties, from Westmoreland County across to Buckingham County.
In Chesterfield, court records show us Ray Lee. Jr entered a guilty plea in August. He was sentenced to another year behind bars, indefinite supervision and ordered to pay nearly $8,000 of restitution and court costs. Records show he’ll also stand trial in Dinwiddie next year after court hearings in Henrico and Westmoreland.
8News hears from people who fall victim to contractor scams all the time. Folks hiring a contractor are reminded to check their references, ask to see their license, and look them up on the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation’s Website.